Review: Neighbor Dearest

Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward



Probably the best book of the year. I don’t care if this is like, the third time I’ve said it since the beginning of summer. This book is truly one of a kind. I devoured it in 24 hours and still feel like I’ve lived a whole life in this short time.

Oh, Damien… *Sighs contentedly*. I’m still waiting for the moment I’ll realize he’s not real and that my neighbor is actually a cranky divorcee with a chiuaua and thirty years on me. Life is cruel… aaaand I’m rambling again. Better stop before something utterly embarrassing comes out.

So, I gathered my thoughts and have put enough distance between me and my feelings to write something more constructive than I Hahah, who am I kidding? I’m still fangirling like a Twihard stuck in an elevator with Robert Pattinson.

Okay, now right to the story. Chelsea has been dumped by her live-in, thought-it-was-the-one, and now very-ex-boyfriend. While wallowing in the pit of despair, she meets Damien, her neighbor, and graffiti Artist that she will soon realize is also her landlord. Their relationship starts off rocky, but soon turns into one of the funniest and deepest friendships I’ve read so far.

But don’t be mistaken, the attraction is right there and it gets addressed really quickly. What made the first half of the book so good was that even if for some reason that we do not know *for now* Damien is resisting the pull they have toward each other, they still interact, they fight, they get closer and closer yet. They confront each other, help each other. And lines get blurred. Chelsea doesn’t understand why he’s pushing her away and chalks it up to his not wanting to commit. Yet the glimpses Damien lets her see tell a whole different story. He’s the epitome of what Ryan Gosling’s sweater is made of. (What with all the actors references tonight???)

Anyway, it’s only after a few twists and turns that we finally understand what was going on. Believe me when I say that you will never see it coming. After that, the book’s beauty really skyrocketed for me. What started as a light romance with a few angsty moments turned into an epic love story with serious issues, real threats, and feelings in such an abundance it felt painful to try to contain them.

I loved how I got to see their relationship grow, how every moment was so special and how they both cherished each one of them. It was one hot, loving ride. I loved both Chelsea and Damien, especially when together. Their chemistry was just perfect.

Oh, and the Double Ds, the two adorable Rottweilers that Damien shares with his ex. Yeah, awkward much. Even though I’m not an animal lover, they really added something to the story and I liked how they bonded with Chelsea. They were cute.

The ending was amazing, the perfect finish line for a story that started all right, progressed into “OMG, this is the best shit ever!!!” and eventually landed in “Please, gimme one more chapter, another epilogue. Anything!!! I’ll take anything about these two!”

Side characters were also fine and it’s clear there’s going to be a story regarding certain actors…

So, I would recommend it to everyone with two eyes, a nose and a mouth. But if you have only one peeper and no breathers, that’s okay too. This book should be on everybody’s TBR pile.
My heart was churned, uplifted, smashed and corroborated. It melted, squeezed, turned. This is one of those books that you want to re-read as soon as it’s over because the mere thought of continuing your life without those characters kills you. It’s one of those epic love stories that spans through more than a month or two. It’s not a fling. It’s one of those novels that give you the sensation of having known each character for ages and at the same time of having lived more than one life. All in the span of the few hours that it takes to read one book.

And this, people, this I call art.


7 thoughts on “Review: Neighbor Dearest

  1. taliaredhotink says:

    Okay, four stars are allowed, too 🙂 Maybe one day someone will invent a software able to calculate exactly what every single person looks for in a book and spit out titles. Oh, and it should also calibrate that to what the reader is feeling like reading at the moment…
    Hmmm, is getting more and more complicated 😦


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